Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Teaching Kiddos the Eagle Pose

Young people love the challenge of bending their bodies into the extreme balancing position of Eagle. I have to admit, it's one of my favorites as well. Their bodies are flexible, and they can do amazing things at this age. They're like human rubber bands. 

Balancing postures, such as Eagle, not only challenge our bodies, but it also challenges our minds. Perched on one foot, with the opposite leg twisted and tucked around the grounded foot, you intertwine your arms, all during a squat, it is a test of your mind, body and spirit. 

The two goofy teens laughed and giggled at each other as we pretzeled our bodies. I can say goofy because one of them is my youngest child. I think the six year old was a better student compared to the older two.

I'm hoping to have a teen / tween yoga camp the second week of August this summer. 

Friday, April 29, 2011

Brenham Yoga for Parent & Child

Parent and child yoga classes will begin on Tuesday, May 3, 2011. Classes will be held in the Brenham Community Education Building in room 7. Class time is 3:15 - 4:00 p.m.

Ages range from 12 mos. & walking through five years of age. 

This is a wonderful opportunity to meet other parents who are interested in introducing their children to the practice (and fun!) of yoga. Yoga can give your child the tools to learn how to relax, focus and have fun doing so. Most children are flexible and limber, and can teach us adults a thing or two about stretching. :))

For more information about Parent & Child Yoga in the Brenham area, please call 979-277-3895.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Live the Life You Were Meant to Live

I believe we all reach a point in life when we wonder, "What am I doing? What have I done? & What will I do for the rest of my life?" 

I woke up one day and asked myself these questions. My answers in order, "Um, I don't know, I'm a mom, a wife and a writer, I'm clueless."

So, I quit my day job and took a leap of faith. I figured the answers weren't going to fall from the sky and land in my lap. No, I was going to have to make them happen.

I decided to launch my yoga practice, Be the Tree Yoga. Yeah, it was terrifying, and I wasn't sure our family could financially support a lack of income. However, with the support of my family, and the invitation and enthusiasm of Brenham Community Education's director, my dream of being a yoga instructor part-time and writer part-time, is well on its way to becoming a reality.

I love teaching and sharing the multiple benefits, joy, peace, and health yoga has to offer. As the wise Gandhi once said...

"Be the change you want to see in the world."


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Brenham Community Ed. Yoga

"Be the change you want
to see in the world."

We've just completed our 4th week of yoga classes at Brenham Community Ed. How time flows when you're in the zone! I had my doubts about the small room in the old building on Market Street, but I've grown to love that cozy space. When my Tuesday class is full, we are in all four corners, literally! 

Between the two classes I've offered, I have eight students--a perfect number for the beginning of my business. They come to me from all different walks of life, different ages, professions, and abilities. I wonder if they are having as much fun as I am?

Our asana postures are increasing in difficulty, and the span of time holding each posture is lengthening. Their flexibility is increasing, as well as their stamina. The individual postures of our Sun Salutations are gaining fluidity. I couldn't be more proud of my students.

Monday evening, I received a generous token of thanks that only a teacher can appreciate. I bowed my head to my students and honored them with a Namaste', and I thanked them for being wonderful students. One of them said, "Well, you're a wonderful teacher."

I thought to myself as I rolled up my mat, now, that is what teaching is all about.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Relax and Quiet the Mind

Yoga is the practice of quieting the mind.  ~Patanjali, translated from Sanskrit

This subject arose last night after class with a student. I thought I would share my thoughts with you here. There is nothing more tranquil than quieting the mind. It is within these rare moments that we feel true inner peace. I cannot count how many times I've unrolled my mat, and allowed my inner chattering to dominate my practice. It's like listening to the constant cackle of a hen. I think Ellen best sums it up with this quote:

I was in yoga the other day.  I was in full lotus position.  My chakras were all aligned.  My mind is cleared of all clatter and I'm looking out of my third eye and everything that I'm supposed to be doing.  It's amazing what comes up, when you sit in that silence.  "Mama keeps whites bright like the sunlight, Mama's got the magic of Clorox 2."  ~Ellen DeGeneres

Seriously, it happens.

For some people meditation and relaxation is simple. For others, they find it difficult to turn it off. There have been times during relaxation when I've actually fallen asleep. Which on the flip side, is not productive for the practicing yogi. It just means I need to get a good night's rest. 

Relaxation or quieting the mind is beneficial in how one's mind processes thought. Think about it; if you can train your mind to stop, listen, and focus, imagine how productive you could be! Wouldn't it be nice to be able to think rational when your hectic, crazy world takes a hold of you by the neck and squeezes? 

Here's an easy method for you to try:

Sitting (so you don't fall asleep!) in a comfortable chair or on your yoga mat just breathe. Close your eyes. Inhale through your nose and exhale with exaggeration through your mouth. Take a few of these cleansing breaths, letting go of your daily stresses. Set your stresses out beside you for a few moments. Yes, they'll still be there when you get up, but dealing with them should come easier afterwards. 

Next slow your breathing down to normal, inhaling and exhaling through the nose. Sit up nice and tall, relaxing the shoulders so they're not bunched up next to your ears. When a thought about your day arises, acknowledge it and then send it out to the floor beside you. Don't judge yourself about these thoughts;don't try to analyze them, just set them aside. As each thought (even those about using Clorox 2) comes to your mind, set it aside.

Breathe. Relax. Feel the tension leaving your body, mind, and soul.

Stay there until the inner chatter quiets. One trick is to count your breath. Inhale 1, exhale 2, inhale 3, exhale 4 and so on. This method works if you cannot control setting aside your thoughts.

Give yourself 3-5 minutes of quietness, and then mentally gather all your thoughts and tuck them back inside your mind. Hopefully, you should feel peaceful and calm; you should feel capable of tackling whatever comes your way. Congratulate yourself.

As does most things, relaxation takes practice. If at first you don't succeed, try and try again! It'll happen. The mind is powerful; it's up to you to control it. When we finally relax the mind, we can unite the mind with our body and spirit. Hence the word union in the meaning of yoga.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Ideas for the Traveling Yogini

The yoga corner of my bedroom has been growing over the past few weeks. I've been collecting mats, blocks and straps for my students. As I sit and stare at the pile of loot, I wonder how I will pack it for traveling. Eight arms would be nice right about now. Should I invest in a wagon to drag it all? Would a wagon even fit in the trunk of my Jetta? 

A large tote may work or an oversized duffel bag. If you have a good idea, comment below and let me know. This traveling yogini needs to pack 10 mats, 5 blocks, a bag full of straps and a computer + speakers. I'd love to hear from you!  

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Extra Mats for Students

Guess what I requested for my birthday last week? Extra yoga mats for my upcoming yoga classes.

I received 4 new mats, giving me a total of 6 extra mats for my students to borrow! If you're thinking you'd like to sign-up for a class, but don't have a mat, email me! I'd love to help out. I don't want the simple fact of you not having a mat be the reason you didn't sign up for yoga.

(Last night I saw the rest of my family and received 4 extra mats, now Be the Tree Yoga has 10 extras!!!)

If you haven't read the entry from last week about Yoga & Teens, read it!! If you know of a teen who's interested in yoga, send it to them. If you're a teen who wants to learn yoga, ask your parents to sign you up for a class today or email me with questions! bethetreeyoga@gmail.com.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"Um, Like...Om" Teens & Yoga

So lately, I've been thinking a lot about my sudden drive to work with teen & tween girls. Maybe it has something to do with the incredible way yoga makes me feel during and after practice. I feel like Super Woman; like I could climb to the top of a mountain and fly down the other side like a soaring eagle. Take this spectacular on-top-of-the-world feeling and marry it to the awkward, have-no-idea-who-I-am, hormonal teenage girl and what have you got? Well, a dose of self-esteem for one but moreover, courage, motivation, focus, determination, healthy eating choices, positive body image, self-awareness, confidence, flexibility, balance and total girl power. 

Yoga can do all that? Yes, it can.

Teach her yoga, an invigorating way of learning about the incredible super girl she is, and you'll have nailed it. Dead on.

Sure, at first it may be silly to her. Some of the postures may look funny or feel funny. A bit of laughter is good for the soul! Some have corny names, but all will do the body, mind & spirit good. Move over milk, yoga doesn't just work on the body. It covers all the bases. Most parents I know would jump at the opportunity to have their daughters smiling more, feeling good about who they are, and overall, just being happy. 

Despite what you may have heard, yoga today, is not a religion. Think of it as a commitment to yourself to be a better person, to live better, love better, and feel better. To unite with yourself and others around you, and how to relate to the rest of the world.

Three weeks ago, I stumbled upon a book on Amazon called Um, Like...Om: A Girl Goddess's Guide to Yoga by Evan Cooper. I purchased it after sifting through the information online. It arrived last week and I read it cover to cover in a few days. It isn't just a book about yoga, it's a guide to teenage life. It shows how yoga will help teens deal with everyday challenges such as school, relationships, hormones, peer pressure and self-esteem issues. The book contains step-by-step instructions and pictures of yoga postures. It also teaches the girls how to tell their inner-critic how to take a hike so they stop bashing themselves. I absolutely love it! It is written for the teen, but as a parent and yoga instructor, I'm finding it incredibly useful for my own knowledge of dealing with teens. *I've listed it to the right with a couple of my favorite yoga books.

Where was yoga when I was growing up? 

I can remember back to my teenage years and the painful, uncomfortable and trying times I endured. Had I been given the opportunity to practice yoga back then, I know the road would have been less bumpy, and I may have actually liked myself. 

My interest in teaching yoga to teens is not just helping them feel rock star good, but it's more about helping them like themselves and teaching them how to leap over life's little bumps in the road.

Here's a great article to further your reading on the subject of teaching yoga to teens:


(If I was talking to a group of teens, Namaste' would say... Hey girls, the rock star in me, honors the rock star in you.)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Yoga for Dancers & Gymnasts

Yoga Posture-Dancer's Pose

I've been doing research on the benefits of yoga for dancers and gymnasts. Being a dancer in my younger days, I know how important it is for your practice to be flexible, strong and balanced. I've never gotten into gymnastics, mostly out of fear of injury, however, from the research done so far, the benefits mirror those for dancers. Upon conclusion, I'd like to visit with the local dance companies and gymnastic facilities in the future to share my learned information.

*If you are interested in reading more on the benefits of yoga for dancers and gymnasts, please open the link below for an informative article.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

New Beginnings

Beginning the week of January 17th, I will be teaching yoga through Brenham Community Education. I have designed five classes for the spring, see list below.

I chose the name, Be the Tree Yoga, for several reasons. I will admit, I am a tree-hugger. Have you ever hugged one? Try it. I promise not to tell anyone. You'll be amazed by the unique experience. For me, a tree represents humans as we also develop roots, strengthen our trunks and branch out to a wider vision of life as we grow. Trees are responsible for providing fresh air to breathe. Last but not least, my favorite pose is the Tree Pose. It promotes balance, strength and focus. Be the Tree...

I plan on using this blog to share the joy of yoga with others. It will serve to connect teacher and student. Please feel free to comment on Be the Tree Yoga blog; your comments and ideas are appreciated. Remember to become a follower and check in weekly for updates and new information. Please feel free to email me with specific questions at bethetreeyoga@gmail.com.

Be the Tree...set your roots, find balance & inner peace.

Spring Class List:
"Um...Like, OM" Yoga--A beginner's innovative class designed for tween & teen girls.
Beginner's Hatha Yoga--A gentle, traditional Hatha yoga class for beginners.
Contemporary Yoga--A class designed to incorporate the ancient practice of yoga with modern music.
Parent & Me Yoga--A gentle, yet fun class for parent and child.
Yogic Dance--A yoga sequencing class using basic postures along with modern music.

*Classes will be held in the Brenham Community Education Building, room 7. Email questions to Candy Fite or contact Brenham Community Ed. at 979-277-6531 or visit them online: www.brenhamcommunityed.com.